I’ve been paying attention to all the theories, and I’ve noticed that many fans bring up how she has to be 18 or 19ish, because she was in the class that Ted mistakenly tried to teach. That might be true if she had been in Architecture 101, the class that Ted was actually supposed to be at. But he was at the Economics 305 class, which doesn’t sound freshman level at all. Cindy – who we now know was the mother’s roommate – was a graduate student working on her PhD. So, definitely not just 18 or 19 herself, unless she’s a genius wunderkind.
Cindy: I swear, every week, I get invited by some frat guy to a kegger, and I say, “I’m a PhD candidate, and I’m writing a dissertation titled Foreign Direct Investment and Inter-generational Linkages in Consumption Behavior.”
Ted: And what do frat guys say to that?
Cindy: [drawls] ‘That’s hot.’
Ted: [laughs] …Actually, that is kinda hot.
Cindy: Ted, I have a confession – I recognize you. Do you remember your first class last semester? Econ 305.
Future Ted: Kids, you remember the wrong classroom story. I thought it was Architecture 101, but it was Econ 305. Of course, I didn’t know that your mother was in that class…and she thought I was a complete idiot.
Cindy: I thought you were a complete idiot – but a very cute idiot.
Ted: So um, do you ever date cute idiots?
Cindy: Almost exclusively.
–How I Met Your Mother, season 5 episode 12 “Girls Versus Suits”
One more point to consider – Ted mentions that the mother was at the bar for St. Patrick’s Day ( season 3 episode 12 “No Tomorrow”), though he didn’t actually meet her that night. I’m pretty sure that bar was 21 and up, which means that she had to be at least 21 in season 3. Some people are wondering why she would have visited a matchmaker (my other post details why I think the mystery match – season 1, episode 21 “Milk” – is the mother) at such a young age. I can think of 2 possible reasons:
- She’s a hopeless romantic like Ted, seeking her one true soul mate amidst the chaos of NYC
- She’s Barney’s half-sister Carly, and therefore signed up for a matchmaking service for the same reason he tried to (as Jack Package – it’s pronounced Pah-caj!). Cindy does mention that her dates are always falling in love with her roommate, so perhaps the mother has the same sex appeal and tempting nature that her big brother is so proud of?
Anyway, I don’t think it’s weird to visit a matchmaker at that age. In a big city it can be really hard to make real connections, so why not? Then again, I’m quite a bit like Cindy, in that I date cute idiots almost exclusively. So a matchmaking service would probably have been a good idea for me when I was that age. :)